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Sudden demise of Gary Garnier leaves huge void in Daily News

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It is with profound grief and sorrow that we announce the passing away of our Deputy Editor, veteran journalist Gary Garnier who was loved by all at the Daily News and beyond for his outgoing nature and cheerful disposition.

Gary, as he was simply known, was a veritable institution at Lake House, known among a wide circle of colleagues and associates in practically every department of the organization. Gary took to journalism after his beloved uncle Jem Garnier, the veteran sports writer.

His devotion and dedication to duty was legendary which was a much talked about topic among friends and colleagues at the Daily News. He was never known to have taken even a single day’s leave except for family bereavements and worked late into the night often single handedly producing the newspaper and seeing it to bed. He was one of the few staffers who volunteered to come to office even at the height of the pandemic.

This way he neglected himself not having any time for any physical activity or outdoor pursuits, which, perhaps finally took its toll.

Gary, an old Peterite, joined Lake House from The Island newspapers in 1997 and soon established himself at the Daily News as a star journalist cum sub editor. Gary had an impeccable command of the English language and his creative headlines made even the most drab news story look lively and interesting and captivated the attention of the readers.

His interests were not confined to journalism but covered a wide gamut of fields with special emphasis on Western music and films. He was practically an encyclopedia when it came to the identities of singers and artistes in the Western music field and would come out with the exact year and date any song was released and the dates of birth of the artistes involved. He was also a great sports lover and closely followed the ongoing Ashes series and other cricket events.

Gary possessed a fine sense of humour and kept the Daily News entertained all the time with rib tickling jokes and anecdotes that greatly relieved the tedium of a profession known for its tensions and seriousness. There was never a dull moment when Gary was around. In fact, staffers from other Lake House newspapers and departments flocked to him whenever they wanted some relief from the tension of deadlines.

There were no airs about him and he was simple to a fault. He was always helpful to his colleagues and guided many a novice journalist through their paces that went on to take them far in the profession. Though a Burgher, Gary spoke fluent Sinhala and got around well with all staffers at our sister paper the Dinamina. He was also greatly loved by all members of the staff at the Daily News for his unassuming simplicity.

Our sympathies also go out to Anjalie who serves the Daily News in harness with her husband, the desks of the two separated by a mere arm’s length. The Daily News certainly won’t be the same again without Gary.

Goodbye, friend. Till we meet again.

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Gary Garnier’s funeral will be held today at the Kohuwala Cemetery at 1.30 pm. Body kept at Peiris Florists Funeral parlour in Kalubowila from 9 am today.

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